'This is Us' and Instant Pot cause Crock-Pot company's stock to plunge

  • Courtesy of Washington PostA scare over Crock-Pot fires is coming at an unfortunate moment for the product's owner, Newell Brands.

    Courtesy of Washington PostA scare over Crock-Pot fires is coming at an unfortunate moment for the product's owner, Newell Brands.

 
 
Updated 1/26/2018 9:54 AM

A scare over Crock-Pot fires is coming at an unfortunate moment for the product's owner, Newell Brands.

On a day when a grim forecast and strategy shift sent its stock plunging 24 percent, Newell is also dealing with a PR nightmare sparked by the latest episode of "This Is Us." A pivotal scene in the NBC drama suggested that a fire started by a faulty slow cooker killed a main character. Newell acquired Crock-Pot when it bought Jarden Corp. in 2016, and it's now looking to tamp down safety concerns among the show's viewers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The consumer-products giant, which also owns Sharpie pens, Rubbermaid and Mr. Coffee, says the panic is nothing more than a tempest in a Crock-Pot.

"The safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible," Newell said in a statement Thursday. "Our Crock-Pot slow cookers are low-current, low-wattage (typically no more than 200 or 300 watts) appliances with self-regulating, heating elements."

Even "This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman sought to allay concerns. The scene depicted a used appliance that wasn't meant to reflect on current technology, he said.

"Taking a moment to remind everyone that it was a 20-year-old fictional crockpot with an already funky switch? Let's not just lump all those lovely hardworking crockpots together," Fogelman posted on Twitter.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As part of the shake-up announced Thursday, Newell is considering selling a suite of brands, including Rawlings and Rubbermaid Outdoors. Three board members also are leaving the Hoboken, New Jersey-based company. Crock-Pot isn't one of the product lines that Newell said it wants to sell off.

In addition to the bad publicity, Crock-Pot faces other problems. Multipurpose cookers like Instant Pot, which can pressure-cook and make rice and yogurt, are all the rage now. In October, Crock-Pot announced its own entry into the multicooker category.

Meanwhile, Newell is taking pains not to alienate fans of "This Is Us." TV-show enthusiasts can be fiercely loyal.

"We too, are heartbroken by the latest development in Jack's storyline," the company said.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.